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Let the QB competition begin at UM

The Miami Hurricanes may not have much left to play for this season outside of matching their record from a year ago and picking up their first bowl victory since 2006.

Jacory Harris But for Jacory Harris and Stephen Morris, Tuesday's practice was really the official start of what should be a back-and-forth quarterback competition -- one that probably will not end until the week before UM begins the 2011 season next September. Although coach Randy Shannon said this week Harris would be the starter Saturday if he can show he's back in a rhythm with the offense during practice, I don't expect Shannon to just hand the job back over to the junior permanently. In fact, NBC-6's Adam Kuperstein said a source told him Morris was told Monday night he will start against USF.

Ultimately, Shannon knows very well the best thing for Harris and Morris is a healthy competition. And the fact Morris (50.5 comp pct, 880 yards, 5 TDs, 7 INTs) played pretty well when Harris (53.9 comp pct, 1646 yards, 14 TDs, 11 INTs) was out, I've been told, has convinced Shannon to leave the quarterback competition open heading into next season. When Shannon spoke on the ACC Teleconference Tuesday what he said seemed to support that belief.

"This is the first time I think since Robert Marve was here that he’s had somebody to push him where he needs to go,” Shannon said. “With Stephen there, Stephen and him talk a lot, they communicate a lot. It’s a competition factor of him staying on top of his game but also ... not feeling the heat, just knowing you have somebody by you that’s just as good as you that wants to work just as hard as you. I think it’s been a great cohesive deal between those guys that should really work out well.”

For what it is worth, Morris took all of the first team snaps when we were able to watch the first 15 minutes of practice Tuesday -- a sign Shannon clearly wants Harris to earn the job back. 

“He’s got to get back in the rhythm of running and cutting and doing those things,” Shannon said. “Jacory has to get back in the rhythm of throwing the football and the timing routes, dropping back, letting the football release at a certain time, getting back to handing the football off, doing all of those things. If he’s really sharp and crisp we’ll go with him. If he’s not really sharp when we need him to be, we’ll go with Stephen. He knows it, and he’s going to work hard this week in practice to get those things.”

Stephen Morris One thing Harris did that impressed Shannon as well as his teammates was that he kept coaching Morris while he was out -- something that won points all around after Harris was seen at times this season off on his own.

"Even though he wasn’t playing, he played a valuable role," senior running back Damien Berry said. "Jacory was coaching on the sideline. He was telling Stephen what he did wrong, his reads and what he saw, critiqueing him from the sideline. Jacory is a big part of our team. Stephen is also, whether on the field or off the field. Both of those  guys are great. I love the way Jacory hasn’t been selfish or anything. He stepped up and he was a real leader, showed how much he cared about this team being on the sideline coaching."

Berry won't be around next season for the competition, but he expects it to be a good one. "That will be very interesting," Berry said. "I’m waiting to see what’s going to happen with that one. It’ll be very interesting to see both of them compete because they’re two different styles of quarterbacks. I want to see what happens."

Berry believes that if Harris had real competition from the beginning of the season, he might have been better off and perhaps more focused. "That’s the goal, to put you into that fire and see how you come out," Berry said. "Some people break, some people fall. But most of the time, if you’re here, you’re going to step up to the plate."

A FEW MORE TIDBITS...

> With 262 yards rushing against Virginia Tech, the Hurricanes have climbed up to No. 25 in the country in rushing (192.73 yards per game) and are on pace -- with what they've accomplished over their last six games -- to eclipse the school record for rushing yards in a season (2,558) set in 1954. As it stands, UM's 2,120 yards on the ground already rank 10th all-time -- behind five glorious season from 2000-2004 that featured Willis McGahee, Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, James Jackson and Najeh Davenport. 

> Between Harris (11), Morris (7), Spencer Whipple (2) and A.J. Highsmith (1) the Hurricanes have thrown more interceptions this season (21) than they have thrown touchdown passes (19). Of course, 12 of those TD passes have been caught by Leonard Hankerson (a new school single-season record). FYI, the school record for interceptions thrown in a season? 32 set back in 1944. Jacory Harris, who has 35 career INTs, is three picks shy of tying George Mira's school record of 38 (1961-63).

Antonio Dixon > Left tackle Orlando Franklin said he will be spending Thanksgiving with his mom and former teammate Antonio Dixon, who has gone from undrafted free agent two years ago to starting five games for the Eagles this season. Franklin said he actually sent Dixon a funny text message last week as he watched the Eagles-Redskins Monday night football game.

"I was surprised he didn't stutter the other night when I was watching Monday Night Football. He actually said 'Antonio Dixon, The U.' I made sure I called him and left him a message about that," Franklin said of Dixon, who battled a severe stuttering problem when he was at Miami Booker T. Washington High and at UM.

"He called me right after the game and cussed me out. It's all good. I'm happy for him. He just has to continue doing what he's doing."

Franklin said he often plays Call Of Duty online with Dixon.

As for his career at UM, Franklin said: "I definitely think I had a real good career. But really it's all about wins and losses. People are not going to see anything else. I remember last year, people telling me I had a great game against South Florida, but I had a horrible game against Wisconsin. Well, grade-wise I had a great game versus Wisconsin and a horrible game against South Florida. It's all about wins and losses here."

> The consensus among players as far as the most disappointing moment of the season? That was pretty easy, Virginia.

"Losing is one thing," cornerback Ryan Hill said. "You go into games with expectations of a win. But when you take a game like Virginia, you lose to guys you know you shouldn't lose to. I kind of stomach Florida State and Ohio State -- these guys are among the nation's elite just like we are. But to lose to Virginia, that's one game that really stuck out to me. I didn't have any answer for it. I don't really understand how we lost that game."

> Hill, to me, has been the most pleasant surprise of any senior on the team. He basically went from a receiver in Shannon's dog house to the second-best cornerback on the team as a senior. He's also a great, great interview.

When I asked Hill about being in Shannon's doghouse, he said: ""I wasn't in his doghouse, I was in his kennel. Coach Shannon wouldn't even talk to me. Coach Shannon, we'd pass by each other and he'd look at me - `uhhh.' We've grown and I love him to death. I'm sure he loves me and we talk all the time. There's not a thing I wouldn't do for him and I'm sure he feel's the same way."

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Someone stole "championships is all that matters" ID because we all know he hates EVERYTHING about the Canes. Don't you worry...I'm on the case brother!

There is no QB competition, Morris is better, so you play him.

The guy is a true freshman and he's already better than Harris.

Shannon should also bench Benjamin and Damien Berry. Of course it's Senior Day, the biggest game of the season, so he'll play Berry. Dude, we don't want to see Berry, we want to see Miller. Get Miller 20 touches a game.

It is symptomatic of Miami's problems that Ryan Hill thinks he is among the "ELITE" when that word could not be associated with Miami during Hill's five years on the team. In those five years, Miami is 35-27. That is mediocre, not elite. Hill is not embarrassed to lose to FSU and OSU. That is indicative of how low standards and expectations have fallen during the Randy Shannon era. It is no wonder that Shannon wants to keep his players away from the media; they say such stupid things.

Can "CANDY RANDY",have the CANES ready to play this Saturday Afternoon? Andmy answer is NO! Question to all of you Shannon Supporters. If Miami losses to USF will you ask for Randy's resignation? Prediction USF 21 Miami 17


Okay, people have you all looked at football from this perspective. Their are two types of sports fans in my book. Either you are a fan or spectator.

SPECTATOR: This is a person who just looks at the game and say things like, "Oh, Benjamin just didn't want to catch the ball on that play." Or, "we just lost because JC threw to many interceptions."

FAN: This is someone who knows sports terminology and lingo. They look at the strength and weakness of the opposition. If Miami runs a run play, they can tell what lineman missed a block or if a receiver missed a block. The Fan can will look at the fact that Benjamin couldnt have caught the ball because JC underthrew or overthrawn the receiver.
I have watched a team with tremendous talent get out coached, out hustled, and played sparingly weekend and weekout. I saw a coach blame a receiver for an interception that clearly was not his fault. The coach didnt want to blame the qb for his lack of effort. The blame had to a receiver who beat his man and the ball was poorly underthrown. Dont get me wrong Benjamin's play at OSU was all on him.
Im a fan, I have watched weekend and week out how, in our losses, we were just out coached and not prepared for what the team is going to do to us. We can argue that we should of won games that we lost and vice versa, because it was some games we should of not won as well. Some coaches are just coordinator material and not head coaching material. Butch Davis, with Coker as the recruit and offensive coordinator, transcended college football recruiting forever. First of all, they put a tight blanket around South Florida and made it hard for teams like Florida or Florida State to get the best players their. Secondly, they designed the pipeline network and started recruiting heavenly on the west coast and got the best from California. Coker was a fine offensive coordinator and sucked as being a head coach. We should of had at least 3 championships with Coker from the recruits that Butch Davis left him. The program had problems and it went down hill since Coker took over. Shannon, like Obama and the economy now, inherited a really bad dilema. He had to clean up the program, which he did very well. The problem is that it is not carrying over onto the football field. Look at it like this, Florida has been in the top 3 recruiting class since taking over as the head coach. Are they what they are rated as, NO! They are paper champs, not on the field champs. It makes Florida and Meyer look like they are recruiting God's. Shannon has had 1 top ranked class since he has taking over. Shannon has a tragic background and childhood that needs to be honored. He overcame so much in his life to be in a position where he is today. I applaud the man and wish him well. He was a great defensive coordinator whose defenses were in the top 5 yearly (google it). With him as a defensive coordinator and a good offensive minded head coach, the U could be strong again.

Jacory senior auditioning for the NFL and preservation of his legacy, Morris - possibly the fist legitmate sophomore starter since Dorsey, and H.S. All-american Teddy Bridgewater trying to avoid a redshirt;

This sure would allow for some intense competition and quality quarterbacking for the next 3-5 years.

Just think, there was a time when Kelly started, and the 1982 recruits of Kosar (83-NC), and Testaverde (86-Heisman) both sat the bench, but it did not stop Walsh (87-NC) from signing in 1985 (Although Jeff George chickened out and went to Purdue).

Bring back QB-U, the real questions are: Why did we stop recruiting a quality quarterback (or two) every year? and What is our recruiting backup plan this year if TB does not become a Cane?.

disapointment, disapointment, disapointment!!!!

I will say this first I love J Harris. But I think he was to relaxed no pressure of being taken out due to his play. He did not play in the spring and everyone knew no matter what the back ups did even in the begining of fall camp he was going to be the man.

NOW there is a little fire under his butt! Lets see how the champ reacts. I think it will do him and the entire team some good to know you could be replaced in a heartbeat. Look at McCarthy Cain starts one game (should have played more) but McCarthy started playing well. All the RB when they get their shot they get after it.

Morris will bring out more than just competition he will bring out some leadership too. Then in spring you bring in Teddy Bridgewater and GAME ON! Fight for your spot that makes champions

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